December 15 2016
*Gurinder Chadha film ‘Viceroy House’ to hit UK March 3
* Poster released
* First Trailer released
FILMMAKER Gurinder Chadha has announced the release date (and released the trailer) for her next film, “Viceroy’s House“.
A historical, sweeping epic set just before the end of British rule in India, it will chart the violent birth of two separate nations – India and Pakistan.
The story is one Chadha has described as being very personal to her as her Punjabi family were caught in the terrible events of Partition.
“Viceroy’s House” will release on March 3 2017 in the UK.
It contains an all-star cast led by “Downton Abbey” favourite Hugh Bonneville who plays the embattled Lord Mountbatten and “The X-files” star and West End stage sensation, Gillian Anderson. She plays Lady Mountbatten. Lilly Travers, one of the stars of “Kingsman” plays daughter Pamela.
There are also appearances from Sir Michael Gambon (General Hastings ‘Pug’ Ismay) and Simon Callow (Cyril Radcliffe).
The film has twin track plots weaving the personal and the political through both the main stage actors as it were – Lord Mountbatten and leadership of two emergent nations, India and Pakistan; and a love story between a young Hindu man and a young Muslim woman – who both work as domestic staff.
The central conceit, if it can be called that, is that these characters both real and fictionalised live in “Viceroy’s House”.
It has an “Upstairs Downstairs”, “Gosford Park” flavour too, alluding to the house staff who work in the kitchens and basement, and the elite upstairs, who are literally carving out new countries.
Leading the love story is Manish Dayal, as ‘Jeet’, and Huma Qureshi as ‘Aalia’. Dayal shot to fame in “The Hundred-Foot Journey”, a film produced by Oprah Winfrey and also starring Dame Helen Mirren and Om Puri. Set in France, it is about an Indian family relocating to that country and trying to make a success of an Indian restaurant there. Dayal is American-raised and a native of South Carolina.
Qureshi is already a big star in India and has rising Bollywood trajectory – this is her first international film.
The main emerging political leadership also reflects the internationalism of the whole film. Mahatma Gandhi is played by Indian indie favourite, Neeraj Kabi, Mohamed Ali Jinnah by well-known Indian actor Denzil Smith and Jawaharlal Nehru by Brit, Tanveer Gani.
It is to date, quite certainly Chadha’s most political film – and it makes a return to the fray after the success of her West End debut musical, “Bend it Like Beckham“.
“Viceroy’s House” is a film that is both epic and intimate, with an inspirational message that celebrates tolerance.
“Many of the events depicted are either unknown or forgotten, but all have strong contemporary relevance in terms of lessons to be learnt concerning the politics of division and fear, the origins of religious extremism, and our moral responsibility towards migrants fleeing violence for a better life,” states the PR blurb.
While the film is directed by Chadha – the screenplay is by herself, Paul Mayeda Berges, Chadha’s husband, and Moira Buffini, who is probably best known for her play “Handbagged” and her twist on “Alice in Wonderland”, “Wonder.land”, which enjoyed a long run at the National Theatre, and featured the music of Damon Albarn, and the screenplay for the film, “Tamara Drewe”.
“Viceroy’s House” is produced by Deepak Nayar, Chadha and Berges.
It is executively produced by Cameron McCracken for Pathé, alongside Indian company, Reliance’s Shibasish Sarkar, BBC Films’ Christine Langan, the British Film Institute’s Natascha Wharton and Ingenious Media’s Tim O’Shea.
The film is a Pathé, Reliance, BBC Films, Ingenious and BFI presentation of a Bend It Films/Deepak Nayar Production in association with the FilmVast and Filmgate Films.
Gurinder Chadha has yet to comment.
Manish Dayal and “The Hundred Foot Journey”
Interview with Huma Qureshi (on the set of ‘Zahhak’)
Neeraj Kabi appeared in
Gurinder Chadha on ‘Bend It Like Beckham’ musical to us